Brand transformation is a fight for relevance, say experts at ABP-e4m panel

Experts discussed what brand building looks like in an environment led by data

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Dec 16, 2020 8:07 AM  | 3 min read

We know the legacy constructs of visual and verbal expressions of a brand need to be refreshed regularly in today’s digital environment to make it relatable. 

It is a fact that today’s increasingly digital world demands new ways to build and manage brands. But, what does brand-building look like in an environment led by data, algorithm and a new context at play that is ever-evolving?

To address these questions, ABP Network in association with e4m organised a webinar on 'Brand Transformation in The Digital Age'. Speakers on the panel included: Jacob Benbunan, Co-Founder & Global CEO, Saffron; Pawan Sarda, Group CMO, Future Group; Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, 82.5 Communications,  Ogilvy Group; Tushar Vyas, President Growth and Transformation, South Asia, GroupM; and Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman & CEO, FCB India.

Speaking about brand transformation in today’s digital age, Pawan Sarda of Future Group underlined that part of this transformation comes from looking at the mood of the country and what customers want brands to change.

“I would say brand transformation is about listening to the consumer and seeing what is happening in their lives of and then adapting accordingly. Brand transformation is much like the human transformation that we all go through,” said Sarda. “Brands live in the hearts and minds of not only customers but also internal stakeholders."

At the end of the day, every brand is a promise of an experience and that experience has many other elements that need to resonate too with the transformation process”, said Jacob Benbunan of Saffron. 

Sharing how creative agencies looked at the brand transformation process,  Sumanto Chattopadhyay of 82.5 Communications stated that there should be a well-defined brand purpose which should become the cornerstone for deciding the steps for the transformation process.

“The brand has to keep changing because the environment is changing and that is the only way it can stay relevant,” said Chattopadhyay.

According to Tushar Vyas of GroupM, transformation is a continuous evolution process.

“If you are not doing that then you might have to take a knee jerk reaction. In my view brand transformation is a fight for relevance”, stated Vyas.

For Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman & CEO, FCB India, brand transformation is how people see, feel and experience a brand.

“At FCB, we look at brands as trees. Imagine a tree with deep roots and a lot of foliage and branches. With the new season the foliage changes but roots remain the same. Brand transformation is a similar process”, said Ohri.

“Very often you cut the roots and customers then say that it is not the brand that they had known. The trick is about knowing what to retain and what to change”, added Ohri.

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